That They May Be One

Notes for Oct. 6, 2018
John 17:20-26

Biblical Background

  • Unity of God the Father and God the Son: The unity of the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is an essential aspect of God’s character. Thus, God’s people are to reflect this same character of unity or oneness as they worship the same Trinitarian God. As God’s people are united in purpose and worship they demonstrate that they are part of God’s family and become witnesses to the world of God’s goodness and loving character.

  • So that the world may believe: When Christians are united in true unity through their common faith in Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life, the only way to reconciliation with God, they give the world a reason to believe. Christians as well will always be a minority in the world as a whole, yet it is their love for one another that will attract others to the faith.

  • Before the foundation of the world: Jesus, as part of the Trinity, was not created as we are or as our world was created. Rather, Jesus created the world and has existed for eternity. It is for this reason that we use the word “begotten” when describing Jesus the Son of God. Begotten points to his everlasting existence before the foundation or creation of the world as we know it.

Discussion Questions

  1. Who is Jesus praying for in this prayer?

  2. How can we as believers join in Jesus’ prayer for those who will believe?

  3. What is the goal of Jesus’ prayer?

  4. What does it mean for Christian’s to be united?

  5. Watch the Youtube video to get J.I. Packer’s understanding of Christian unity. What comments do you have after watching his short commentary?

  6. Whose example of unity are we to follow?

  7. How do God the Father and God the Son reflect unity and love for one another?

  8. What is needed for authentic, true Christian unity? What does it look like in our world today?

  9. What does false unity in Christian circles look like? Share some examples.

  10. How does authentic Christian unity point others to faith in Jesus Christ? Why and how is it attractive?

  11. Share specific times or moments when you have experienced Christian unity in your life. What made these moments stand apart?

  12. What are some specific ways this week that you can display authentic Christian unity in your workplace? Home? Neighborhood?

  13. Take some time to pray for unity in our church, the church of Greater Washington, D.C., the global church.

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